Riding The Storm Of Life


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I learn that someone I have long respected has resigned from the College of Cardinals due to scandal; I discover that something I have done with the best of intentions has been interpreted wrongly or has been received negatively; I realize that something I have long-loved and enjoyed has the power to hurt me I learned this the hard way with the ocean and jellyfish last summer!

I want my old vision back. I want my old perceptions back. Am I not really saying this: I want my trust back. God is funny sometimes. As the lives of many saints demonstrate, sometimes the closer we become to God, the more elusive God becomes. This is not to say that God disappears; rather, it's our perception of God's presence that changes. The reality is that God is always with us, always caring, always providing, always loving. But our perceptions don't always match that.

Sometimes God seems frighteningly powerful, alarmingly absent or horrifyingly ambivalent. I want my old faith back. My dad used to say that life is a one-way street — no turning back, no dead-ends, and one clear destination. There is no "getting back" old vision, old faith or old trust. There is only moving forward with the vision, the faith, and the trust of today.

And that is, day-by-day, a new and living trust. I think Maya Angelou agreed with my dad, when she said , "History, despite its wrenching pain, Cannot be unlived, and if faced with courage, Need not be lived again. The book of Lamentations contains the outpouring of the human heart's dashed hopes, lonely outcries, and desperate pleas. When we are in the midst of those moments as well — when we are recovering from the damage of life's storms — let us remember what is real despite all other perceptions: "The Lord's mercy and compassion are never spent; they are renewed each morning.

She has master's degree in pastoral studies and has ministered in education at both the elementary and high school levels in Connecticut, New York, Missouri and Taiwan. Column Horizons.

Riding out life's storms Aug 3, Say thanks. Like what you're reading? Sign up for GSR e-newsletters! Spirituality Riding out life's storms. As soon as David heard that the child had died. To put his life back together David worshipped. Prayer, asking God for help is part of worship, so there is a connection with the first thing David did.

However, worship involves more than just prayer. Worship is first and foremost adoration and praise.

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The word that is translated worship in our passage means to bow down, to acknowledge that God is superior. In the midst of a storm, when life is a struggle, one of the best things you can do is to praise God, to give thanks for the blessings that are still part of your life. Yes, Ron is leaving, but there are a lot of people staying and new people coming, people with gifts and talents.

The beauty of creation surrounds us every day. In the midst of the storm spend time in worship, praising God for the many blessings that are still part of your life. For David, worship probably included some sort of sacrifice. He may have killed a lamb and then eaten it, or poured oil or flour on the altar.

You could be anywhere else this morning, but you have sacrificed your time to come here to worship. In a little bit we will take up our offering. You could spend that money in many other ways, but instead you sacrifice it by giving it to God. Worship normally includes the Bible.

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For David that may have included writing or praying one of the Psalms or reading and remembering the story of the Exodus. I could talk for an hour about worship and how your presence helps worship. I could tell stories that would either make you cry or at least make you think. Your presence in worship helps me as a preacher and encourages everyone else who comes to worship.

But I want you to hear why worship is so important. Worship is the place we come together to encounter the One who helps us through the storm. Through regular participation in worship we can and will ride out the storms. There is a fourth thing that David does to ride out the storm — he accepts the reality of his situation. By the time he learned that his son had died there was a distinct aroma around David.

Often, in a crisis, people ignore the daily routines of life — brushing your teeth and showering.

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Riding Out Inevitable Storms: Life, Business and More

The first thing David did was to get cleaned up. He took a shower and maybe even shaved. He changed his clothes. After fasting for seven days he was also hungry so he went and ate. Accepting the reality of the situation meant returning to the normal activities of life. In the passage that follows right after the one I read David joins his army in a battle against the Ammonites.

Riders on the Storm

That is where he should have been in the first place, to avoid this whole problem. He went back to the routines that were a normal part of his life. David also accepted the reality of the situation by realizing that his son was gone. Nothing he could do now would bring him back. Look at verse One of great struggles of getting older is accepting that reality. People deny the reality that they no longer should be living on their own or driving. One of the hurdles that alcoholics face is the denial that they have a problem.

We all have a tendency to deny our own sinfulness. The way to survive the storms of life is to accept the reality of what life is like now. We've got to learn to be faithful storm travelers who'll be just as on fire for Him during and after our storms as we are when the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and we just got a raise.

Perusing the book of Job will add grist to our meal to help us in times of adversity. Through all of the inconceivable junk Job went through, such as losing his family, home, health and livelihood, he did not become a whining atheist. And what did God do for this man who did not cave when catastrophe struck?

He made certain that the last part of his life blew away the first part. Realize how short and fragile life really is. This is a jagged little pill for invincible evangelicals to swallow.


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We seem to live and act like we'll never die and like we can VISA-card our way out of most of our situations. However, death, adversity and vulnerability have a way of bringing us back to reality.

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